Christopher Hitchens death has been dominating news outlets worldwide since the author, journalist and critic passed away yesterday on December 15th after a battle with oesophageal cancer which he made known to the public last year. Now the tributes have come pouring forth for a man known for his outspoken views on politics and religion, oft delivered with a venomous wit in an engaging manner.
The BBC reports that The New Statesman came out in mourning by calling Hitchens one of the "most outstanding and prolific journalists and a wonderful polemicist, orator and bon vivant," its obituary writer GEORGE EATON adding "Today, as I realise I will never hear that resonant baritone again, that Hitchens's mighty pen has fallen silent, I feel certain in saying that the world has become a more boring place." ROY GREENSLADE, writing for the UK's Guardian newspaper, said that he managed to be "both inspirational and infuriating company," explaining, "Inspirational because of his wit and his ability in discussions to adopt a counter-intuitive position and argue it with vigour even when it became obvious he believed the opposite," and furthering "He was infuriating because he always dominated conversations and effortlessly attracted female attention despite appearing not to seek it."
The New York Times recalled his surprising support of the Iraq war, reflecting that he became a "ferocious critic of what he called 'Islamo-fascism'. Although he denied coining the word, he popularised it". The New York Times were just one of a plethora of pundits eager to pay their respects, in doing so painting a picture of a man who - for better or worse - left an inedible mark on those who encountered him.